Fly Fishing Retailer '07: The Sharkskin Redemption

Bruce Richards, lead product designer for Scientific Anglers and a MidCurrent editorial board member, had a pretty cool piece of fly line hanging around his neck during the last day of the show. It had sections with a standard fly line coating alternating with sections of Sharkskin. Run your fingers down the line and every time they hit the standard coating you felt like someone applied the power brakes.
Every company at this year’s FFR wanted to think that they might have a product that broke out of the pack and allowed them a respite from an industry imperative that every year’s product line be just a little more clever than last year’s. SA, like a few other companies, will no doubt ride the coattails of Sharkskin for a few years, as well they should. Being in a great position to create and build new product doesn’t guarantee that the brains behind the ideas will ever come up with major improvements, and even a company like SA — owned by 3M and the original manufacturer for the lines of many other brands — usually has to be happy with a few well-executed but relatively minor improvements to their product line. End the end, we are all looking for a product that makes us want to string up the rod a little more often, and Sharkskin may just be this year’s best incentive.

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